A Thomasian is making a name in architecture with bamboos.

With passion and determination, Christian Salandanan, found his big break with the use of bamboos, which he considers as “greener alternative” for architecture.

“There are various materials that are being utilized in our modern era, all of which leaves a significant amount of carbon footprint on the long run. We need to find alternatives for those kinds of construction materials,” he said in an interview.

Like the strength of a sturdy bamboo, Salandanan stood firm and steadfast in passing through the challenges he experienced while working with his bamboo thesis during his stay in the University, which he mentioned as “common for any other artists.”

“There are many problems and issues with regards to the material, from its social acceptability down to the material handling. By using facts and technical data on handling the material, everything can be justified,” he said.

Salandanan, who graduated in 2015, placed fifth in the Architectural licensure exam last June. His under graduate thesis, “Casa Kawayan: A research and the development complex,” was recognized as the thesis of the year in the First National Architectural Thesis Competition in 2014.

The study was also recognized in the second Archi-World Academy Awards, an international competition for architecture students which was held in Munich, Germany last February. The award led him to what he considers as hitting two birds in a stone—not only did it boost his morale, but also paved the way for an internship with Anadram Architects in India.

Recently, Salandanan’s innovation bested 125 artists in the World Bamboo Design Contest, a competition under the 10th World Bamboo Congress in Damyang, South Korea.

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Fidel Perez

Salandanan placed third in the Architecture category, but he believes that the best thing that he earned is encouragement. “I wanted to scale my performance and skills on a global scale.”

The competition had three categories—household goods, transportation and architecture. It aims to boost innovations in bamboo product design and ingenuities to sustain the use of bamboo.

Through the competition, Salandanan was able to connect with different people of different cultures around the world.

“Regardless of their age or race, sharing their own stories on how they want to contribute to the world will always be priceless,” he added.

Salandanan, currently working as a freelance designer, admitted he is clueless on how he will answer the question “what’s next?” “I still don’t know what my next concrete move will be, but one thing is for sure. I will pursue and continue exploring on the limitless possibilities of bamboo as a building material,” he said.

But he knows how to answer the question “what builds him” concretely—the Thomasian values and competence that pushed him to aim for a spotlight in the architecture industry.

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